AI for retail

How Sciative uses AI to solve a nagging problem for retail

Price setting is one of the most crucial problems in businesses, because any price setting error directly results in lost profit and lost customers. However, traditional price management methods by businesses almost never achieve optimal pricing because they are designed for traditional environments, where the frequency of price changes is inherently limited and the complexity of pricing models is constrained by the capabilities of off-the-shelf tools and manual processes.

Hence, Sciative came into being bringing in pricing and business transformation experiences into picture. In a conversation with DQ Deep Tech, Dr. Anshu Jalora, Founder and MD, Sciative and Vijeta Soni, Co-Founder & CEO, Sciative discuss the importance of dynamic pricing and how AI brings the solution to the price optimization challenge for retail.

Edited excerpts:

Price optimization is one of the most crucial problems faced by businesses. What are the big changes and challenges faced by the retail sector amid the second wave of the pandemic?

Anshu Jalora: Pandemic has affected business all over the world, especially the retail industry. There are four key challenges in my opinion that the Indian retail sector will face amid the second wave of Pandemic:

  • Inventory planning: The demand pattern of customers has become quite uncertain today as they are trading down their purchases to lower-end products, so it has become quite difficult for the retail sector to plan their inventory in advance.
  • Service delivery control and discipline in online marketplaces: With e-commerce industry getting wider acceptance especially during pandemic, where on one hand, brands are experiencing increase in orders online; on the other hand, they also have to deal with unauthorized sellers in the marketplace listings. Unauthorized sellers today are offering aggressive discounting, and even counterfeit products which increases the competition in the market.
  • Customers postponing or trading down their purchases: With the situation getting ambiguous, customers are postponing their purchases or opt for a lower-end product. Hence, maintaining price points on high end products is becoming a challenge.
  • Maintaining Price Velocity: With greater share of online marketplaces sales, brands have to maintain their presence across multiple marketplaces. So, in order to deliver seamless pricing all while sustaining purchase experience across platforms, maintaining price velocity has become more challenging than ever.

Owing to the above-mentioned changes, it has become more challenging than ever to seek a solution that can help retail industry to sail through these tough times. This is where our solutions help brands to find the right prices for their product, meeting the market needs, understanding customer behavioural patterns and every single transaction. Using our AI powered solutions and predictive analytics to get directionally accurate forecasts for any situation and at the same time recommend future course of action using prescriptive analytics to bring in changes required for today’s omnichannel world.

How Sciative is taking this pandemic as an opportunity to bring in the Pricing Revolution in India?  What brands are you associated with and how are you helping them reboot?

Anshu Jalora: In this age of competitiveness, Sciative is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to bring a Pricing Revolution in India by leveraging the pandemic as catalyst in three ways:

  • Engagement model: Try before buy, and new entry level offerings to onboard new clients in new segments with modules that deliver significant value fast
  • Enhanced price optimization features: Personalized pricing features to maximize lifetime value of customer base for our clients
  • Extensions: Since inventory planning was getting challenging, offering AI-powered inventory planning modules to help clients match supply and demand

We have been associated with leading brands in consumer electronics, arts and crafts, beauty, fashion and lifestyle, F&B. Using our Retail Intelligence solution ‘BRIO’, we have helped retailers to maintain competitive pricing, create and implement effective promotions and customize store-level assortment to revolutionize their decision-making process by providing instant access to actionable insights. BRIO through its AI model has the capability of carrying over 3 billion pricing decisions daily, which has helped brands to increase the revenue by 30% post implementation and 20-40% improvement in margins across their product categories

How Sciative’s flagship Retail Price Optimization Solution (BRIO) has helped leading eCommerce brands in the country transform their pricing strategies and energize their online revenues.

Vijeta Soni: Our flagship retail intelligence solution ‘BRIO’, offers transformation at two levels:

  • Firstly, by bringing discipline and prevent value leaks in their online listings (omni-channel pricing and availability, identification of unauthorized sellers and trim entry of fake products getting pushed to customers, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to quickly interpret and respond to customer voice – reviews and ratings.)
  • Secondly, we provide ecommerce brands with Artificial Intelligence based decision support for inventory planning, price optimization and marketplace sponsorships; core emphasis on velocity in identifying changes in market demand patterns and applying AI and machine learning to identify the right response to it.

Brief about the company, its specialization, and the services offered.

Vijeta Soni: Price setting is one of the most crucial problems in businesses, because any price setting error directly results in lost profit and lost customers. However, traditional price management methods by businesses almost never achieve optimal pricing because they are designed for traditional environments, where the frequency of price changes is inherently limited and the complexity of pricing models is constrained by the capabilities of off-the-shelf tools and manual processes. Hence, Sciative came into being bringing in pricing and business transformation experiences into picture.

The company’s specialization lay in its leading Dynamic Pricing solutions with its award-winning AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered technology tools that helps companies find right prices for every product, every market, every customer, every transaction. Sciative is powering price optimization of +3 billion prices globally across industries – such as retail, ecommerce, hospitality, travel, entertainment, technology services, CPG, and industrial products.

Sciative’s superior scientific and self-learning Artificial Intelligence algorithms don’t require expensive data scientists to run or execute. Also, their solutions are currently powering more than 3 billion pricing decisions daily using Auto-AI/ML at massive scale. As there is an overabundance of data with organizations – data relating to customers, competition, supply, distribution and logistics, programmatic marketing, multiple distribution partners, etc. In such a scenario, extracting actionable insights is difficult, expensive and time consuming. Sciaive’s AI powered solutions offers deep insights at a click of a button, empowering organizations with speed of action, agility and data driven decision processes.

What is Sciative’s competitive advantage?

Anshu Jalora: Our modern approach and openness toward new technology adoptions is what gives Sciative an edge over our competitors. Our USP primarily lies in:

  • Broad library of AI modules to address variety of pricing requirements (perishable products, MoP, Second Margins, brand sponsored promotion budgets)
  • Beyond pricing, cover all key areas where retailers require decision support (inventory planning, market intelligence, price and promotions optimization, personalization)
  • Minimal efforts for clients to integrate (options of API based integrations, and marketplace API integrations)
  • Bespoke SaaS model, (gives the flexibility of business process, workflows and user interface customization, while leveraging the core AI modules in the backend)

Business focus/goals for FY 2021-22 and growth plans for the next year

Vijeta Soni: We have seen the exponential growth in our last quarters and we are confident that we will deliver 4x revenue performance in comparison to FY 2020-21. Also, we are expanding our customer base in the national and international market in retail, ecommerce, D2C and travel verticals using AI and analytics. We are confident that in coming years we will do expansions not only in product features but also in our team.

 

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